Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Winchester. She first describes the work outside the House preparatory to the introduction by CH Hopwood of the motion condemning the compulsory examination of women on Tuesday Feb 27 1883. Petitions and memorials poured in from all over the country. She went up to London on the morning of the 27th, went straight to the House at 4 o'clock when business began and at 5 to the prayer meeting held at the Westminster Palace Hotel nearby and was to continue till the House shut down, Josephine Butler moved between these two. As had been expected Hopwood's motion was crowded out. The next day Josephine Butler with other women workers went to the Lobby of the House from 1-6.30 and carried on the work of the propaganda by interviewing Mps.

Administrative / Biographical History

[Saturday] 3 Mar 1883. 'About the supposed approaching debate.' A special effort was made in 1883 by the Repealers; petitions and memorials poured into the House from all over the country. This letter is devoted to a description of the gathering of women in Westminster for prayer and lobbying of MPs preceding a motion put down by CH Hopwood condemning the compulsory examination of women. On 27 Feb Hopwood's motion was crowded out by debate on the Address. Later, on 20 Apr Mr James Stansfeld was more fortunate. He moved in the House 'that this House disapproves of compulsory examination of women under the Contagious Diseases Acts' carried by 182 to 110. Majority 72. ('Shield' 1 May, p.109). 'All the best seats [in the Ladies Gallery] were already occupied by smartly dressed young ladies ... who had come to hear Justin McCarthy.' McCarthy in 1871 returned from USA and stood for county Longford and was elected; he also became vice chairman of the nationalist party of whom Parnell was elected chairman. He was also known to society as a historian ('History of our own times' 1877) and a novelist. Biog: George Trevelyan MP; WE Forster MP; Shaw Lefevre MP; Mundella MP; Arthur Pease MP; Mrs Hinde Smith; Miss Lowe; Miss Meredith; Mrs Baxter; CH Hopwood MP; Col. Makins (MP West Ham); Lady Frederick Cavendish; Lord Hartington (eldest son of Duke of Devonshire); Miss Tod; Mr O'Shaughnessy MP Cavendish Bentwick; Mrs Shearer (suffrage); Sir William Harcourt; William Rathbone; Justin McCarthy & Mrs ; Albert Grey; George Russell; Bob Reid; Aunt Tully (Mary Ann Grey m. Edgar Garston known as 'Aunt Tully'); Aunt Fanny (Mrs Smyltan); Cardinal Manning.